By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to devise strategies towards strengthening and developing traditional and alternative healthcare delivery in the country.
The House equally mandated its Committees on Healthcare Services Health Institutions and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, to liaise with the Federal Ministries of Health, Industry Trade and Investment, Labour and Productivity, Science and Technology to ensure compliance.
The House also resolved that, the Federal Ministry of Health and NAFDAC should expedite action on the numerous drugs developed by Traditional Medicine practitioner currently lying idle in NAFDAC and determine their efficacy.
The House resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to Strengthen Traditional and Alternative Medicine for Sustainable Health Care Delivery in Nigeria by Hon. Balarebe Shehu Kakale.
Presenting the motion, Hon. Kakale said that the global outbreak of COVID–19 exposed the disproportionate burden of Nigeria’s over–dependence on imported medical, pharmaceuticals, devices, equipment and other related health services with more Nigerians demanding health care services that are local, homegrown, organic, close, conveniently accessible and affordable.
He said “Concerned that failure to strengthen and adequately utilize alternative medical practices in the country undermines the sustainability of the domestic structures, denies Nigerians the opportunity to test their usefulness in the prevention and cure of various ailments, and leads to waste of resources.
“Aware that evidence has shown that Nigeria, in particular, has a plethora of medicinal plants scientifically proven to have immense health benefits but the country has failed to effectively use them.
The House expressed concern that the lack of a sustainable domestic approach to healthcare delivery has resulted in a weak healthcare system in the country especially in efforts towards combating COVID–19 and other epidemics.